For a brand like Levi’s, which has a long and consistent reputation as a quality product, a store, particularly a high-profile store on London’s Regent Street, is more than a place to buy a new pair of jeans.
It needs to offer more than racks of clothing, fitting rooms and a cash register – it needs to embody the brand and in that way, it’s as much a marketing tool to build the brand as it is a place to make sales.
Levi’s has tried something new with this flagship store and is attempting go back to the brand’s roots and tell the story of the craftsmanship that’s at the core of the brand at the same time as connecting with young aspirational Londoners.
On paper it doesn’t sound convincing but the physical retail space is utterly convincing and the two concepts marry perfectly.
Levi’s has worked with 18 London craft workers ranging from musicians and artists to caterers to be what it calls “icons” for the store.
The front of the store has been given over to a gallery space dubbed “Origin” which will only ever be used as a curated space. It currently houses giant portraits of the London craft workers, examples of their work and audio content of each of them talking about their craft and affinity to the Levi’s brand.
The brand found that the concept lent itself so well to the retail concept that it has taken it on as the basis of it’s latest brand advertising campaign, which pictures the 18 Londoners wearing iconic Levi’s clothing.
Audio and video footage of the craft workers will also feature on a new Levi’s website that also launches today.
It’s part gallery space but the brand hasn’t gone so far into the concept that the retail aspect of the store is secondary, it’s also a practical shopping experience.
Andrea Moore, Levi UK marketing director says the company wanted the store to be a flexible space to tell the brand story, while at the same time, making shopping in it simple and easy.
The beauty of Levi’s craftsmanship retail strategy is that it can be seamlessly rolled out globally and be adapted into other areas of marketing if the brand decides to take that direction.
Moore says that the store, which was designed by Checkland Kindleysides, is very London-centric and flagships will always remain bespoke and relevant to their location. The concept means Levi’s is able to keep consistency without being identical.